Another Reason to Love The Cleve

Are you scared of severe storms? Horrified of hurricanes? Terrified of tornadoes and typhoons? (You get the idea!) Then Cleveland may be just the place for you! According to SustainLane’s 2008 US City Rankings Cleveland is one of the cities in the US least likely to be hit by a natural disaster. According to SustainLane:

Coming in tied at #1 for lowest natural disaster risk as defined by the above criteria are Milwaukee and Mesa, Arizona. These cities are least likely to face hurricanes, earthquakes, catastrophic hail and tornado super-outbreaks, as they lack geographic, geologic and atmospheric conditions needed to create these disasters. Catastrophic flooding is also unlikely. Other major US cities ranking higher for safety from natural disasters are Cleveland, El Paso, Phoenix and Tucson (all tied at #3).

Go Cleveland!

Your Clients Want Social Media

I’m so tired of people doubting social media. I’m tired of people judging whether or not it works or not wanting to use it “because it’s scary/uncontrollable/etc.” I mean really, if we stopped doing everything that was “scary” or only did things we could control, how boring would life be?

Cone, my old stomping ground (I interned there for a while), recently released a study that finally puts it all out there: Your clients WANT social media!

According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, 93% of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, and 85% believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media.

The time has come people. These conversations are already happening. We can’t just ignore social media and hope it will go away. We can’t ignore YouTube, because of some of the questionable content on there, or ignore twitter because we find it “self-indulgent.” We need to be out there, listening and interacting with our clients and customers. The time is now.

More information on the findings of the study can be found here.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Last weekend I made my first trip down to southern Ohio for a German-filled weekend. Let me first state that I have never been to Germany and I am not at all German. Not even close. What is the opposite of German? That’s probably me.

B, B’s brother and I made the trip down Friday night and met up with B’s brother’s girlfriend (who is in school in Cincy) and B’s friend (who studied in Germany with B nonetheless). The first night we ventured over the border to Kentucky to check out the Hofbrauhaus. Many masses of beer was consumed and I even saw a man propose to his girlfriend on the stage where a German music band was playing! (Cute, but not for me).

Mass # 1 or 2

Mass # 1 or 2

The next day we went to Oktoberfest! I had no idea but Cincinnati has US’s largest “most authentic” Oktoberfest.  I spent the morning (10 am was too early for beer especially after the late night at Hofbrauhaus) drinking some yummy cider, switching to traditional German beer in the afternoon.

Super Brat!

Super Brat!

I even sampled a “Super Brat” a bratwurst that was twice the normal size (it didn’t fit in the bun they gave). Just so you know, I’m not the only one who “pigged out” (haha a  pun!) at Oktoberfest…according to their website, an insane amount of food is consumed each year:

  • 87,542 metts
  • 80,500 bratwurst
  • 64,000 sauerkraut balls
  • 56,250 sausages
  • 24,640 potato pancakes
  • 23,004 soft pretzels
  • 20,000 cream puffs
  • 16,002 strudel
  • 6,000 jumbo pickles
  • 3,600 lbs. sauerkraut
  • 1,875 lbs. German potato salad
  • 702 lbs. Limburger cheese
  • 700 pigtails
  • 400 pickled pigs feet

The highlight of my day was when the Bier Band serenaded us to various traditional German and then American pop songs. Their lead singer even came up right next to me during “My best friend’s girl friend.” I took some great video (and photo below!) but it doesn’t do them justice. I mean, seriously, imagine a bunch of guys singing and playing instruments (including horn and accordion) AND wearing liederhosen.  Hilarious.

Bier Band ... drinking and not singing

Bier Band ... drinking and not singing

Great fun! The theme that just about sums up the weekend: It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times.

Celebrity Look Alike: Legos?

Okay more fun Friday stuff!

In honor of their anniversary, Lego has come out with new celebrity lookalike Lego People!

I don’t know abuot you, but I LOVED Legos and played with them as much as I could as a kid. To this day, when I’m babysitting, I pray the kid has Legos to play with.

Of the celebrity Lego people, my favorites were Amy Winehouse (it’s a lookalike!), Brangelina and newborn twins, and Posh and Becks. Which is your favorite?

Seriously, it looks JUST like her!

Seriously, it looks JUST like her!

Cleveland Ranked Again

Cleveland has been ranked yet again by Forbes. And AGAIN for something unfavorable. Geesh.

Cleveland is now listed as #7 in the top 10 most stressful places to live. And here I was thinking my move from NY/Boston to the “Midwest” would make my life easier? Not according to Forbes!

According to Forbes:

Clevelanders have to cope with the fourth worst air quality among cities we ranked and the tenth highest population density. Some might also have to worry about Seasonal Affective Disorder: Cleveland boasts the fourth fewest sunny days a year of the cities measured. If these environmental factors aren’t bad enough, this Rustbelt city also has a 7.2% rate of unemployment. The good news: The flight from this city has resulted in the third most affordable housing in the country.

Check out the full story here and a listing/slideshow of the cities here

America’s Most Stressful Cities:

10. Philadelphia, PA

9. Providence, R.I.

8. Salt Lake City, Utah

7. Cleveland, Ohio

6. San Diego, Calif.

5. San Francisco, Calif.

4. Los Angeles, Calif.

3. Detroit, Mich.

2. New York, N.Y.

1. Chicago, Ill.

Fun Friday Links

For some reason today I have about a thousand different things I want to write about! Some fun links that I’ve found today:

  1. What is your Palin name? What would your name be if Sarah Palin were your mother? I would be Pie Gallon Palin which does have a nice ring to it!
  2. New cell phone study: 35% Of BlackBerry And PDA Users Would Choose Their Device Over Their Spouse…ouch! I know that my treo is glued to me at all times, but this does NOT apply to me!
  3. The Padres choose a new uniform: Or should I say the “Madres”?
  4. The new Microsoft I Am a PC Campaign: I love it. I love the new ad, I love the actual PR component and the viral idea to get people to film their own I am a PC videos. Love love love! (And I am a PC so I can relate. Not everyone with a PC is an old boring man with glasses and an ugly suit!)

What I’m Reading Now

I just finished a great book. If you love learning about social media then I definitely recommend Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. Not only did I learn more about how my favorite social media sites got started (twitter, Wikipedia, flickr, etc.) but he also writes about the history of “communities” in society.

The book starts with “The Case of the Missing Sidekick” and drew me right in as I read the story of a woman named Ivanna whose sidekick is stolen. Now we all know that phones are lost and stolen everyday, but Ivanna’s case is different, as her friend Evan blogs about the sidekick and within time thousands of people are following her tale. NY Times wrote about the story here and Evan’s blog (including updates about the Sidekick Story) is here.

Shirky’s book ends with an epilogue in which he mentions how different life is for those growing up in this exciting digital age than it was when he was growing up. I realize that I take for granted my ability and eagerness to understand all things new and technical, especially when Shirky writes:

“One reason many of the stories in this book seem to be populated with young people is that those of us born before 1980 remember a time before any tools supported group communication well. For us, no matter how deeply we immerse ourselves in new technology, it will always have a certain provisional quality. Those of us with considerable real-world experience are often at an advantage relative to young people, who are comparative novices in teh way the world works. They overestimate mere fads, seeing revolution everywhere, and they make this kind of mistake a thousand times before they learn better. But in times of revolution, the experienced among us make the opposite mistake. When a real once-in-a-lifetime change comes along, we are at risk of regarding it as a fad…

I’m old enough to know a lot of things just from life experience. I know that newspapers are where you get your political news and how you look for a job. I know that music comes from stores. I know that if you want to have a conversation with someone, you call them on the phone. I know that complicated thing like software and encyclopedias have to be created by professionals. In the last fifteen years, I’ve had to unlearn every one of those things and a million others, because they have stopped being true” (Shirky, 303-304).

I never really thought of it that way — that in a sense I am lucky because I don’t have to re-learn things. I accept and underst

and the fact that twitter can be used for conversation and that facebook can be used to connect with people

and organize events. I have lived this way and it seems strange to me for anything else to exist.

So if you like social media or are interested in learning more about the way we organize and form communities has changed, check out the book and let me know what you thought!

Great weekend

I’m sure my last blog post left you on the edge of your seat wondering, what will she do? How will she survive B’s birthday? Since you’ve been eagerly awaiting (I’m sure) I’ll update.

Birthday went fine! Better than fine – Great!! I stopped stressing over a gift and ended up with a great gift:

  • New boxers: Don’t get the wrong idea, these were just plain Hanes boxers. He was always complaining he needed new ones, so not to be his mother or anything, I just went to Target and bought the softest ones I found. I mean, come on, when your boyfriend says his “lucky boxers” are threadbare, you would be a bad girlfriend just to sit back and watch his luck run out!
  • Ambitious Brew: see the below twitter recommendation. Written by Maureen Ogle, it’s a book about the history of American beer, so for a boy that likes history AND beer, I figured this was a given. I ended up buying it from because both Borders AND Barnes and Noble were out!
  • Beer of the month club!: Rozi’s Wine House in Lakewood and Rocky River offers both a Beer and Wine Club. I opted for the Beer Club and purchased a 3 month membership to begin with.
  • Dinner at Morton’s: A GREAT restaurant if you like steak, located in Tower City. We went Saturday night and enjoyed a FABULOUS multi course meal that was well worth the rather pricey bill. We shared an appetizer of scallops wrapped in bacon, and then I ordered a chopped salad (it came with BACON and avocado and hearts of palm!!) with a seared tuna. Yum! B got NY Strip Steak (I think? I’m not good at deciphering the different cuts) and mashed potatos. I’ll be eating leftover tuna for lunch tomorrow!

So all in all, no need to worry. Dinner and gifts were good. And I recommend the beer of the month club for any girl or guy you’re looking to surprise with a fun gift that keeps coming month after month! (*hint birthday is in January)

Birthday Boy Blues

It’s that time of year again- stress, anguish, anxiety and confusion. It can only mean one thing: September and therefore B’s birthday.

Why do I have such a hard time getting him a gift? We’ve been dating for a few years now (and living together for 1), so you think it would just get easier. But it doesn’t! Each year, with each gift I give, it narrows down the possibility for other gifts. I go around my office, asking suggestions. I ask my mom. I ask HIS mom! I google “Perfect birthday gift for boyfriend who likes cigars but already has a humidor and likes alcohol but isn’t an alcoholic, is in law school but doesn’t like law TV shows, etc.” But didn’t get much from that search. I even tweeted about it and didn’t get too many responses!

I mean if 130something people follow me and only 2 people have suggestions, it’s not just me that thinks it is difficult!

So, with B’s birthday being this weekend…anyone have any ideas?

More Free Food!

Again with the free stuff- seriously I cannot get enough of it. This time, however, it’s sandwiches..and not just any sandwich – Dave’s Cosmic Subs!

Tonight: Wednesday, September 10th, 2008: Lakewood’s Dave’s Cosmic Subs will be holding a “Grand Opening Celebration” and offer free subs from 6-8 PM!

Choose from either the Original Dave’s Cosmic, the Veg-Out or the Turkey Dave!

The Original Dave’s Cosmic Sub: Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Prosciutto, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sliced Banana Peppers, Onions, Fresh Garlic, Herbs, Provolone Cheese, smothered with Dave’s Cosmic Sauce.

The Turkey Dave: Succulent Roasted Turkey Breast, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sliced Banana Peppers, Swiss Cheese, Herbs, then Smothered with Dave’s Cosmic Sauce.

Dave’s Veg-Out (Another Vegetarian Favorite and MY FAVORITE!): Fresh Mushrooms, Romain Lettuce, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Sliced Banana Peppers, Cheddar, Provolone and Swiss Cheeses, Herbs, all Smothered with Dave’s Cosmic Sauce.

The Dave’s is located at Detroit and Warren in Lakewood, next to Marc’s/Chipotle Plaza. I’m hoping the lines won’t be insane. Enjoy and maybe I’ll see you there tonight!